Many of my patients suffer from symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency is difficult to diagnose, but worth the effort given that the "cure" is safe for most, economical, and has a high probability of improving both length and quality of life. An estimated 70% of Americans do not get enough magnesium from food.
Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a natural muscle relaxer. Magnesium provides protection for the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system. It helps protect us from physical and emotional stress.
Because it is essential to life, the body is skilled at moving magnesium to where it is needed. The body circulates its magnesium cargo in blood to provide abundant magnesium to the heart and other organs, making it difficult to detect magnesium deficiency with a blood test.
People who do not have enough magnesium can suffer greatly, even become disabled in extreme cases. When I suspect magnesium deficiency I consider whether my patient has any of the following symptoms:
Migraine Headaches (as many as half of migraine sufferers respond well to magnesium)
Grinding teeth; TMJ; jaw tightness or popping
Absent morning hunger, quiet stomach (no growling)
Difficult to control asthma; tight chest
Difficulty managing blood sugars in metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabetes
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
High blood pressure
Muscle cramps and spasms
Facial tics, particularly around the eyes
Pre-menstrual syndrome and/or menstrual cramps
Irregular heart rhythm
Mitral valve prolapse
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue symptoms
When I suspect magnesium deficiency in an adult patient, I usually make the following recommendations:
Make sure you have no heart or kidney disease before taking
Magnesium supplements. Check with your healthcare provider to ensure you are a candidate for magnesium therapy and let your him or her know what you plan to take.
Start with 400 mg to 600 mg of magnesium every evening or as recommended by your healthcare provider. Take with food
to prevent stomach upset.
Magnesium may be taken in divided doses if not tolerated (if
stools become too loose or you have stomach upset): for example, 200 mg twice a
day, 250 mg twice a day or 300 mg twice a day. Again, take with food
If your stools become too loose even with divided doses, cut
back on each dose (if it was too high at 300 mg twice a day, take 200 mg twice a day, e.g.).
If you get cramps or if cramps worsen, stop this supplement
and tell your healthcare provider.
Taking a B-6 vitamin or a multiple vitamin with B-6 in it helps magnesium to be absorbed into the cells. Some preparations have B-6 in them; check the bottle. Take no more than 75 mg B-6 total per day.
- Magnesium Hydroxide (low bioavailability),
- Magnesium Oxide (low bioavailability),
- Magnesium Carbonate (low bioavailability),
- Magnesium Aspartate (neurotoxic) or
- Magnesium Glutamate (neurotoxic)
- Magnesium citrate (especially if constipation is a problem)
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium taurinate or taurate
- Magnesium succinate
The best formulations, in my opinion: A combination of Magnesium Citrate & Magnesium
Malate. Another good formula, in my opinion: Jigsaw Magnesium with SRT.
Source Naturals makes a couple of magnesium products. One, Ultra-Mag, is an acceptable blend of
Jarrow Formulas makes Magnesium Optimizer, which is
Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate and Taurine
My preferred magnesium formulation is Jigsaw
Magnesium with SRT, 125 mg tablets. Take one to
two tablets twice a day or as directed by your physician. You can order
this at: www.jigsawhealth.com or by telephone at: 866-601-5800 or on Amazon.com
You may be able to get adequate magnesium from food, depending on the health of top soils it is raised on and the methods in which the food is raised. Potentially rich food sources of magnesium include sprouted pumpkin seeds. Other sources include squashes and green leafy vegetables, depending on how these are grown and prepared. Water should be another source of magnesium, but here in Northwest Oregon we drink more soft water, which does not contain the calcium, magnesium and other minerals of hard water.
To your health,
from Dr. Ann